Increasing threats to amphibian and reptile species raise the urgency of their conservation. However, relative to other vertebrate groups at risk, amphibians and reptiles have low and more variable social capital; they are not generally high-priority natural goods and services valued by people. Consequently, relative to other groups such as birds, mammals, and economically important fish, they garner fewer conservation resources. With increasing risks, their situation degrades. We examine five societal sectors with herpetofaunal conservation interests in the United States (local communities, people in defined geographies and jurisdictions, species and threat specialists and advocates, associated researchers, managers, and policy makers) to understand challenges of low and variable social capital for herpetofauna. With current trends of US public values changing from traditionalist consumerism of wildlife to mutualist coexistence philosophies, a refocus of outreach and inreach efforts could help reframe priorities toward species at greatest risk, rather than broad taxonomic biases. Integrated teams of engaged natural resource managers, researchers, and the interested public can help promote species- and issue-based programs to forestall losses, hence programmatically raising social capital. Heightened recognition of the importance of human relationships and herpetofaunal diversity among researchers, managers, policy makers, educators, artists, authors, citizens, and children could provide inertia to reframe conservation program effectiveness at local-to-national scales.
|Title||Elevating human dimensions of amphibian and reptile conservation, a USA perspective|
|Authors||Deanna H. Olson, David Pilliod|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Conservation Science and Practice|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center|